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Album Review

A lush, richly textured affair made unique by Matt Pond's expressive vocal and an unerring knack for crafting memorable songs, matt pond PA's first record for Altitude is much in the same vein as the group's last record for Polyvinyl. A notch or two better than The Nature of Maps, Emblems doesn't emphasize hook-filled pop tunes, but rather the kind of songs that creep into your heart and reside there like warm memories. Pond sounds rejuvenated here. The music is livelier and almost exuberant at times, and certainly more varied that on the last album, which at times seemed to collapse into a melancholic torpor. The band has a meatier sound; tracks like "Closest (Look Out)" and "Claire" work up a rocking head of steam, the melodies are sharper and there are a bunch of really catchy choruses. It sounds like the work of a man in love, still sad at times but able to express a wider range of emotion. That's not to say the record forsakes the fragile beauty of previous albums as tracks like the achingly pristine "Summer (Butcher Two)" and the lilting "Lily Two" show that Pond's chamber pop standard mastery of arrangement and dynamics is still intact. Don't call it a comeback; call it a triumphant return to the glory of The Green Fury. And call it some of the finest emotionally charged chamber pop you are liable to hear in 2004.

Customer Reviews


Liked it from first listen!

One of his best albums

A great listen all the way through. KC, Closest, Lilly...vintage mPA.

Always a good listen

Matt pond pa is a phenomenally talented group of guys and their lyrics are so moving!


Formed: 1998 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although originally formed as a chamber pop quintet, matt pond PA went through several different lineups throughout its existence, with each incarnation revolving around the talents of singer/songwriter Matt Pond (previously of Mel's Rockpile). Pond formed the group upon relocating from New England to Philadelphia, and he filled out his first lineup with guitarist/bassist Josh Kramer, cellist Jim Hostetter, violinist Rosie McNamara-Jones, and drummer Sean Byrne. The band debuted in 1998 with Deer...
Full Bio
Emblems, Matt Pond PA
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Customer Ratings